Tropical Depression Fifteen strengthened slightly Tuesday afternoon and the National Hurricane Center upgraded it to Tropical Storm Omar. Just hours earlier, a vigorous tropical disturbance in the Caribbean became Tropical Storm Nana, according to the hurricane center.
The record-breaking hurricane season continues to churn out storms. Nana and Omar are the earliest 14th and 15th named storms in the Atlantic basin, respectively, each breaking a record from the 2005 season.
As of 5 p.m., Nana was located just 125 miles southwest of Jamaica and moving to the west, away from the island, at 18 mph. The storm has sustained winds of 50 mph, with even higher wind gusts.
“On the forecast track, Nana will be moving near but north of the coast of Honduras on Wednesday and likely be approaching the coast of Belize on Thursday,” the NHC said.
Despite the system only having about 36 hours before moving into Belize, the conditions are favorable for at least modest strengthening and the hurricane center is predicting that Nana will become a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall early Thursday.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for Mexico from Puerto Costa Maya to Chetumal. Coastal areas of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras continue to be under tropical storm watches.
Omar continued the streak of records Tuesday afternoon. The previous record for the earliest named “O” storm was Ophelia, which was named on September 7, 2005.
With maximum sustained winds of only 40 mph, Omar is a minimal tropical storm. The storm is located about 200 miles east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but will continue to move away from the US. The storm will encounter hostile environmental conditions and is expected to dissipate well north of Bermuda, according to the hurricane center.
Other than increased surf and rip current risk along the North Carolina coast, Omar will not have any impacts to land.